Teen Titans Annual #1 Review

Posted June 2, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy, Dan Abnett

Art By: Paul Pelletier

Published By: DC

Color me crazy—probably a really flashy plaid if I’m being honest—but I’m pretty sure the point of yearly Annuals and #1s are to start stories, not continue ten thousand plotlines from four or five different comics. Like, if I pick up an MLP annual, I know I’m in for an oversized one-shot that doesn’t require me to know what was going on in the last six or seven issues. Teen Titans Annual #1 doesn’t respect me like that.

It reads like a mess because of it. This may or may not be my fault for having dropped off all of the DC comics involved, but still. It has a shiny #1 tacked onto it. I expected an introduction, not a continuation.

Because damnit, I really just wanted a fun Teen Titans book to cozy up with for a half hour or so.

I guess the plot is that Deathstroke stole the SPEED FORCE from Kid Flash and is going back in time to find his son or something. The man has daddy issues. I honestly don’t care. I’m more upset that we’re taking something simple and making it wildly convoluted and then adding time travel and the SPEED FORCE on top of it. Both of those things make literally everything but Terminator 2 worse.

Like, that plot isn’t half bad! It’s simple and family oriented and character focused. It needn’t involve the entire Teen Titans cast, the full Titans cast, and hints of the Justice League. Also there are multiple timelines going on throughout this whole mess of stupid super heroes with no one to care about.

Color me cynical—I’m loathe to admit it, but that one’s probably brown or yellow—but if my pathos hinges on “It’s that character!” I’m going to assume you’re doing something wrong. Yeah I know this cast, but that doesn’t mean I care about them (I actively hate a handful of them). Throwing Starfire in the background and doing nothing with her won’t make me care about her. She’s just a sideshow. The same goes for basically everyone here save Beast Boy who at least has some common sense.

The rest is a busy mess with too many characters and way too many references and notes to other books. This thing is downright busy in a bad way, and that includes the artwork which tries to stuff every frame with someone important.

Also, and I can’t understate this enough, throwing shade at Nickelback as a joke in your second page is lazy. Misquoting the band because you either don’t know the lyrics or cannot afford them is worse. I’m not livid, but I am disappointed.

Also, also, where’s my goddamned humor? This is the Teen Titans! I want some jokes. I want some snark and some fourthwall breaks handwaving how stupid the plot is, not super serious “Kid Flash gets what he deserves” nonsense with Beast Boy being the smart one. He’s supposed to be an idiot!

Also^3, I maybe skipped four or five pages, but the ending is pretty lackluster. Thankfully it’s continued on in Deathstroke #20! I have no plans on reading that.

I guess the TL/DR is that this is less of a bad comic and more one that shouldn’t have #1 anywhere near it. It’s not a #1. It’s also not a one-shot annual which is usually what that word means. Annual. Once a year. There’s plenty of plot from last week, last month, and last year too. More plot will follow next week.

The whole thing’s a lie.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.